Education

Devin Katayama covers education from early childhood to college and careers. He explains the public education experience through conversations and discussions with school leaders, families, and community members.

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Education
12:43 am
Wed June 11, 2014

School Board Approves New JCPS Code of Conduct With Focus on Reducing Suspensions

Tuesday night's school board meeting.
Credit Jacob Ryan/WFPL

The Jefferson County Board of Education approved revisions to the districtwide Student Code of Conduct  on Tuesday night.  The changes focus on reducing suspension rates while ensuring student safety, said Jackie Wisman, the district’s director of Safe and Drug Free Schools. 

The board approved the revisions on a 5-2 vote.  Board members Debbie Wesslund and Linda Duncan voted against the changes.

Wesslund said the changes were made “too fast” and the focus needs to be on faculty and staff training, plus observation.

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Education
6:58 am
Wed May 28, 2014

At Risk: WFPL's 3-Month Look Into the Lives of Louisville's Struggling Students

Bryan "Kenny-Man" Bishop and his sister Bryana at home.
Credit Angela Shoemaker for WFPL News

Kenneth Gray is from a poor family, raised by his grandmother alone. He grew up on 42nd Street in Shawnee, a part of town where opportunities are sparse. He’s African-American. By the statistics, the odds are stacked against him.

He is a “maybe kid.”

“Maybe you’ll go to class,” says Kenneth, 18. “Maybe you’ll graduate. Maybe you won’t drop out. Maybe you won’t go to prison.”

Or maybe he won’t.

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Education
6:48 am
Wed May 28, 2014

Takeaways from Jefferson County Public Schools' New $1.3-Billion Budget

Credit Joseph Lord/WFPL News

The largest budget in Jefferson County Public Schools history is set to take effect on July 1.

The Jefferson County Board of Education approved the $1.3 billion budget Tuesday night on a 5-2 vote. Board members David Jones Jr. and Chris Brady voted against it.

Jones said he did not have adequate information about long-term trends related to fund spending. But he didn't take issue with “any of the particulars" in the spending plan.

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Education
7:50 am
Sun May 25, 2014

Louisville's Transgender Students: What Happens When Schools Are Accepting

Kaleb Fischbach
Credit Alix Mattingly/WFPL News

In the past week, we've heard from  some of Louisville's transgender students—about coming out, about "passing," and the importance of communication in schools.

Today, we hear from Kaleb Fischbach, a duPont Manual High School student, about what happens when a school is accepting of who he is. 

He says Manual students have been "awesome."

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Education
7:00 am
Thu May 22, 2014

Louisville's Transgender Students: A Different Type of 'Passing' in School

Credit Alix Mattingly/WFPL News

In our ongoing series this week we're speaking with Louisville students to better understand what it means to be transgender in school.  

Today, we're discussing the concept of "passing"—when a person who is considered part of one group is accepted as a member of another.

Today, we'll discuss what it means to "pass" as another gender. Like the proper use of pronouns—which we learned about from Louisville Collegiate student Henry Brousseau—passing as the gender they identify with is important for transgender students.

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Education
3:29 pm
Wed May 21, 2014

State Audit of Jefferson County Public Schools Resurfaces Many Old Questions

Kentucky Auditor Adam Edelen calls JCPS a "bloated" bureaucracy.
Credit Devin Katayama/WFPL News

The long-awaited state audit of Jefferson County Public Schools didn't give many surprises to the district's leader—in part because many of the issues were known to staff and are longstanding.

In fact, some of the same questions were raised in a 2011 audit conducted by Phi Delta Kappa, such as the cost of central administrator salaries.

Why do the questions endure?

"You've got to prioritize," says JCPS Superintendent Donna Hargens.

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Education
10:00 am
Wed May 21, 2014

Kentucky State Audit Calls JCPS Administration 'Bloated.' Here Are Some Takeaways.

Credit Joseph Lord/WFPL News

Jefferson County Public Schools’ management system is  “bloated" and the district isn’t providing teachers with enough classroom resources, according to a a state audit released Wednesday morning.

Kentucky State Auditor Adam Edelen’s office has completed its year-long report that includes 45 findings and several more recommendations to reform JCPS management and policies, some of which the district has already begun to implement.

Those policies, he said, could shift into classrooms millions of dollars now spent on administration.

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Education
9:00 am
Wed May 21, 2014

Louisville's Transgender Students: How Schools Are Places Of Support And Stress

Max St. John says the teachers and staff at his school have been supportive since he came out as transgender.

Yesterday, we heard from Henry Brousseau, who talked about the importance of pronoun usage to transgender students. Today, we'll hear from Max St. John who shares his story about what happens when appropriate pronouns aren't used.

St. John attends Doss High School and says staff and teachers have been supportive since he came out as transgender. But the classroom can also be stressful because many students and teachers don't know much about transgender culture.

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Education
1:22 pm
Tue May 20, 2014

Jefferson County Public Schools Will Get The State Audit On Wednesday

The JCPS Board of Education voted 5-2 in approval of the audit.

After months of work, Kentucky State Auditor Adam Edelen says his office is ready to release an audit of the state’s largest school system that will help show how wisely Jefferson County Public Schools spends its money.

The audit is expected to show how JCPS spends its money when compared to other peer school districts. It will also uncover any conflicts of interest and look at whether district policies are adequate.

Here's the scope of the audit, according to JCPS.

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Education
9:48 am
Tue May 20, 2014

Louisville's Transgender Students: Henry Brousseau and the Question of Pronouns

Henry Brousseau says it took time for his school to support his decision to come out as transgender.
Credit Alix Mattingly/WFPL News

Atherton High School is moving toward adopting an anti-discrimination policy that addresses a question: How should schools treat students whose gender identity differs from the sex they were assigned at birth?

But countless transgender students attend Louisville schools that aren't Atherton—and questions remain. The restroom question that Atherton is addressing is just one.

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